Nils Frahm
Felt


3.5
great

Review

by Angel STAFF
November 3rd, 2011 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nils Frahm continues to redefine what it means to be a pianist in the 21st century.

German piano maestro and composer Nils Frahm is quickly becoming one of the premier names in the modern classical scene, garnering some much deserved praise for 2009’s pair of albums, The Bells and Wintermusik. His uncanny knack for fairly simplistic yet enchanting piano arrangements nuanced with sparse outside instrumentation is a welcomed treat amidst the legions of cut-rate pianists whose work is peddled at mall kiosks the world over. Frahm not only has the talent of a composer but, also, the innovative ambition of those composers of old, the drive to make each work new and special. Felt proves to be his most conceptually ambitious album yet, named for using sheets of felt cloth to dampen the hammers of his piano so that he might be able to craft lovely nocturnes in the still of his own home without disturbing his dear neighbors. (Thoughtful man.)

Aside from the felt, a series of microphones were also placed inside and around Frahm’s piano to pick up the mechanical workings of the instrument as well as the extraneous noises that come along with a man toiling away atop the bench of a pianoforte. His signature piano work is met with the intimate ambience of floorboards creaking, the airy clicking of each key returning to rest upon release of a sustained chord, and even the musician’s own breathing. The delicately played sonatinas soothe and lull, joined by their enhanced aural byproducts and the occasional arpeggiated xylophone or glockenspiel accompaniment. At times, the notes of higher register resonate off the hushed strings like a plucked harp to contrast the subtle left hand playing. “Pause” sees Nils opt to use a heavier hand, allowing the assertive chords to ring out, leading effortlessly into the standout conclusion “More”. The track opens tying together the predominant elements of Felt into a rich yarn of piano, xylophone, and electronic backing before resorting back to the confident chord-striking and then fading away in bright electro-ambient fashion.

Already proving his prowess at the keys, it’s good to see Nils Frahm take an even further experimental approach to his compositions. He’s managed to create one of the most unique pieces of piano music in ages, and while these numbers may not necessarily stick with the listener, Felt remains a calming and transporting journey worth revisiting on those quiet, rainy days best spent inside.



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user ratings (39)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Finally getting around to wrapping up some stuff I had in the vault. Hope to see this pop up some other year-end lists besides mine.

Relinquished
November 3rd 2011


25097 Comments


djNils

psykonaut
November 3rd 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice work, mr. contributor. i enjoyed wintermusik quite a bit so i'll have to get this

MO
November 3rd 2011


18755 Comments


Good shit Angel.

"it’s good to see Nils Frahm to take an even further experimental approach to his compositions."

that extra "to" in there seems weird

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks. And good call there. Probably the result of me changing the wording around toward the end.

MO
November 3rd 2011


18755 Comments


m/

psykonaut
November 3rd 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

m/

Relinquished
November 3rd 2011


25097 Comments


m/

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh, Lord, here we go again...

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 3rd 2011


10594 Comments


Shit dude, great review. Getting now, sounds awesome.

Digging: Grouper - Ruins

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think you'll enjoy it. I like it a good bit better than that Winged Victory album and Olafur Arnalds' latest EP.

seedofnothing
November 3rd 2011


3425 Comments


according to your review I dont understand why you gave this a 3.5

when you say "He’s managed to create one of the most unique pieces of piano music in ages" it sounds like it would be at a least a 4 rating

other than your rating, excellent review and description

its good to see classical getting more attention now-a-days as it one of fav types of music aka life. i WILL be checking this out

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Uniqueness doesn't necessarily go along with quality. I really like this album, but it does fall a bit shy of a 4 rating for me. Certainly a wonderful record for a certain mood and setting.

seedofnothing
November 3rd 2011


3425 Comments


when you say quality are you referring to the production or composition quality, please ellaborate,

not that im the review guru or anything but you may want to include in your actual review why the quality isnt up to par with your reasoning so we can understand why you give this a 3.5

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just mean the quality of music in general. Wouldn't you agree that something can be simultaneously unique and awful?

seedofnothing
November 3rd 2011


3425 Comments


i slightly understand what you mean; but for instance if there is a unique painting, its hard to call if awful, because usually awful is classified amongst other similar paintings according to personal rating, but when you see something truly unique such as an abstact painting, a person may say that it doesnt appeal to them, but they may not necessarily feel that its awful because they've never been exposed to something like it before

rather they may say that I just don't get it and leave it at that, as being unique in its absolute sense usually refers to one of kind

hope I made sense, and I'm just tryin to understand where your comin from

im sure once I actually listen to this I may get a better understanding of what you mean as well

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, take the Metallica and Lou Reed collaboration, for instance. It's quite unique and hard to really compare to any other piece of music, but it's still a flaming pile of shit.

seedofnothing
November 3rd 2011


3425 Comments


i have to partially disagree on that, def not unique in my opinion, but it is a pile of shit. We can both agree on that part

nonetheless I do get what your trying to say

Metallica and Lou Reed = lol

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2011


16410 Comments


Wouldn't you agree that something can be simultaneously unique and awful?

This is very true.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

seedofnothing
November 3rd 2011


3425 Comments


just heard 3 tracks from this, im literally blown away

feels like a 4.5 so far, and feels very special



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